Online art courses: the full list

Gorgeous illustrated printable pages. Work at your own pace on a password-protected website.  Instructor guidance and feedback as often as you like. Draw, paint, and letter with me!



The Best Nest: Birds, Nests & Eggs in Colored Pencil
6 Lessons – Enrollment Limited

Buy Now Button

Using softly muted colors inspired by Victorian natural history illustrations, draw the nests and eggs of four very different birds (and the birds themselves) in colored pencil: field sparrow, purple martin, green heron and ruby-throated hummingbird.

Two additional hour-long lessons will cover:

  • How to create elegant pencil studies of nests and eggs, to help you see their structure and surface patterns more deeply
  • How to make preliminary pencil studies of birds and feathers (this lesson is a good starting point for anyone new to drawing birds, or a helpful refresher for more experienced artists)

All levels of art experience welcome! Instruction is step-by-step, and each video has multiple illustrated printables and practice exercises. The course is hosted on a private, password protected site you can visit anytime — and your access is permanent, so you can work at your own pace.


Wood Thrush

FIVE LITTLE SONGBIRDS: A simple painting technique
6 Video tutorials with illustrated printables
6 Vintage postcards included


Buy Now Button

Using a simple four-step painting technique that mimics the effect of a woodcut, paint 5 beloved songbirds on vintage postcards (provided to you). I’ll also send along a sixth postcard for practice. Either gouache or acrylic work for this course — use the one you like best. Our colorful painted flock includes:

  • Wood Thrush
  • Summer Tanager
  • Oriole
  • Blue Grosbeak
  • Yellow Warbler

The complete course, including all 5 birds and an introductory practice video, is posted on a password-protected website. Your site access is permanent and will never expire. International signups welcome — I will send postcards anywhere in the world.

Also, this is a “drawing optional” course for all levels of art experience (or no experience at all). How to sketch each songbird is included in their video tutorials, but if you prefer to focus on painting only, I will provide optional patterns that can be transferred to your postcards.

Use your 5 Little Songbirds as uplifting gifts or let them roost in your own home. Either way, I hope you will join me!



Birds and Words: A Joyful Course in Ink and Watercolor
Four Modules,  17 video tutorials
3 Antique postcards included


Buy Now Button

In 17 videos and 20 illustrated printable pages, this course will change the way you think about combining watercolor and ink. We’ll paint swallows in the elegantly simple style of ancient Minoan nature artists; a tree filled with colorful songbirds in the style of Colonial folk painters; design and create a kindly Mother Goose in the style of Beatrix Potter and the golden age of children’s book illustration.  Finally, using a simple plastic ballpoint pen and a thin wash of watercolor, we’ll create a delicately tinted drawing on antique postcards with the look of a Victorian bird engraving. (Postcards are provided.)





Project 1 demo2

Birds & Butterflies on Vintage Postcards
Mini-course (Five video lessons + 12 printable pages)
4 Vintage postcards included


Buy Now Button

Create artwork inspired by the lovely nature journals of Victorian explorers. We’ll start with stamped and postmarked vintage postcards, then add gouache (opaque watercolor) and colored pencil for unique portraits of favorite bird and butterfly species. Keep your video access permanently.

What information does the course cover?

Using step-by-step instruction delivered in five 45-minute video lessons, plus 12 full-color printable pdf pages, you’ll learn:

  • Design principles to plan your postcard art
  • Basic science drawing techniques to draw your subject OR
  • A simple method to transfer your reference image with no drawing needed
  • How to paint black butterflies and how to paint light-colored butterflies
  • Painting closeup views of birds’ heads and painting whole birds
  • Brushstrokes and pencil strokes that create realistic textures
  • How to layer and blend gouache and colored pencil
  • How to mix colors with confidence
  • Fun and interesting choices for background shading
  • Tips for shading birds’ eyes and butterflies’ wing patterns
  • Ideas for framing or displaying your finished postcard

What supplies do I need?

The course is designed with a very modest, basic supply list. If you have previously taken an online course with me, you already have some (or possible all!) of the supplies. Click here for the list:

Postcard Course Supply List

Where do I get vintage postcards?

Wherever you are in the world, I will mail you two stamped and postmarked vintage postcards (for painting) and two additional blank vintage postcards (for practicing). If you fall in love with postcard art and decide you want more, old postcards are available at most antique shops and on eBay.

Where do I get reference images of butterflies and birds?

A large collection of high-resolution, color reference photos will be posted on our course website. All images will be licensed for our use, so you may freely download them for the class or you are welcome to use your own images, if you prefer.

What if I only want to paint butterflies? Do I have to paint birds, too?

You are completely free to choose your projects. Only butterflies (or only birds) will be fine. Do what makes you happiest.

How does the course work?

All lessons, videos and printables will be located on a private, password-protected website. When you sign up, I will email the site link and password to you.

You will have immediate access to all the course material. You may access the site anytime and work at your own pace. Unlimited instructor guidance and feedback is available by email.

There is also be a private Facebook group for my students around the world, which is completely optional. It’s a safe place to share comments, links and images with others taking the course.



Drawn & Decorated Watercolor Lettering
10 Lessons – work at your own pace

Buy Now Button




Create original, decorated letters using watercolor, Pigma Micron pens, pencils and a brush. Includes 10 complete projects representing a wide range of styles and historical periods. Topics include illuminated initials, Celtic knotwork, vines and flourishes, Quickhand for your own art journal, creative page design, tips for designing a unique personal alphabet, three easy steps to Deco chrome letters and much more. My first and most popular course.


Questions about Drawn & Decorated Watercolor Lettering? Email me!


Birds in Watercolor and Beyond
10 Lessons – work at your own pace


Buy Now Button

L5 Spatter BirdB

Explore new watercolor techniques (ranging from realistic to whimsical) as we paint birds from around the world. Topics include brushwork, color mixing, a dramatic ink resist, painting skies and clouds, painting foliage, painting on toned paper and more. No experience needed.





Some photos from Birds in Watercolor and Beyond:

Val Webb pelican

WC Bird

Burrowing Owl pic


Birds in Colored Pencil
9 Lessons – work at your own pace

Buy Now Button

Roller and pencils


With step-by-step guidance, learn to create “gentle pencil” foundation drawings and then layer rich colors on top to create elegantly detailed, illustration-quality colored pencil images. This course uses detailed video demonstrations of technique, step-by-step illustrated printables and personal feedback on completed projects. We’ll mix up classical drawing theory with a dose of natural history, with topics including drawing feather texture, drawing birds in flight, shading for highlights and shadows, color blending, basic bird anatomy, drawing birds of prey, drawing backgrounds and habitat, drawing birds’ eggs and nests, and much more. No experience necessary, and the supply list is quite basic.

Some photos from Birds in Colored Pencil:

L9 Toucan 4B




Watercolor Garden Cottage: Inspired by Beatrix Potter
9 Lessons (PLUS one hour video workshop on drawing animals)



Buy Now Button

Inspired by Beatrix Potter’s favorite watercolor techniques, this course has three modules — each containing three separate lessons with full step-by-step guidance and lavishly illustrated printable pages. As a bonus, a video workshop will help hone your animal drawing skills before you begin the course.

In the one hour PRE-COURSE VIDEO WORKSHOP, you’ll complete quick sketches and more thorough pencil studies while practicing simple techniques for fur texture, expressive eyes (along with ears, paws and noses!) in mice, rabbits, cats, squirrels and other small furry creatures. Taking our cue from Beatrix Potter’s sketchbook, we’ll learn to place small animals in different poses. Includes printable pencil exercises and several short projects for skill building.

In the BOTANICAL WATERCOLOR module, we’ll use layering in warm tones to create realistic small paintings of mushrooms, berries and wildflowers similar to the work Miss Potter undertook early in her illustration career. Learn to sharpen your observation skills as you learn three different botanical watercolor techniques popular in the Victorian era, and start your own naturalist’s notebook.

In the GRISAILLE module, use watercolor sketching in warm neutral tones to help you see and understand small animal subjects more deeply. Beatrix Potter used grisaille watercolor to design animal characters and charming little interior scenes. Working in your choice of sepia or grey, our three projects will include painting naturalistic animals, whimsical “storybook” animals, and cozy interiors for them to inhabit.

In the final LAYERED / DRYBRUSH WATERCOLOR module, we’ll imitate Beatrix Potter’s lovely muted color palette and soft backgrounds to place our animals in detailed cottage and garden settings.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is promo-image5.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bp-squirrel.jpg



The supply list is basic, and you may already have art supplies you like to use. Feel free to make substitutions if your supplies are slightly different. I am happy to answer your questions about supplies – my email is

  • Sketchbook or drawing paper (any type)
  • 2B drawing pencil
  • Kneaded eraser
  • Pigma Micron or other waterproof black pen, tip size 01 OR crow quill dip pen and India ink
  • Small paper tortillon or blending stump
  • Watercolor paper or tablet (I will be using Strathmore 400 series cold press 140lb, which is economical and easy to find for most folks, but you may use any hot or cold press watercolor paper 140lb or heavier)
  • A basic set of watercolors in tubes (I will be using Cotman – a good quality economical grade from Winsor Newton) or if you buy individual tubes, here are the colors I will be using: Ultramarine Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Cadmium Yellow Light (or Lemon Yellow), Burnt Sienna, Yellow Ochre.
  • A small tube of white gouache
  • 3 watercolor brushes (synthetic are fine) in sizes 00 round and 04 round, and 1/2 inch flat


Draw Dogs & Cats
8 Lessons – work at your own pace

Buy Now Button



No experience necessary — the only prerequisite for this course is a love of our four-legged family members. Working in pencil for some projects, black-and-white charcoal pencil for others, develop your drawing skills by learning to create glossy fur, expressive eyes, animals in action and at rest. Topics include drawing puppies and kittens at different stages of growth, four techniques for drawing white fur, drawing realistic dog noses, drawing dog and cat caricatures and more. Licensed reference images are provided for every lesson, or you may use images of your own dog or cat. Very minimal supply list.

Eight video lessons, each accompanied by illustrated printable pages:

  1. Pencil Language – How to unlock your drawing pencil’s full range of textures and values. How to draw lifelike eyes.  Project: create a realistic sketch of a short-haired cat.
  2. Shiny Fur and Wet Noses – How to draw long, glossy fur. How to draw a perfect wet nose. Project: choose a reference image (or use your own) to draw a long-haired cat or dog.
  3.  Kittens and Puppies – How to draw kittens and puppies, in different growth stages from newborn to young adult. How to draw facial proportions. Project: Pencil sketching exercise, kittens and puppies.
  4. Black and White Charcoal – Warm-up sketch with tips for using charcoal (kitty sketch). Step-by-step Boston Terrier puppy on toned paper. Project: Black/white dog or cat of your choice in charcoal.
  5. Brush and Ink – Warm-up sampler exercise, using grays and blacks. How to draw with a brush. Step-by-step border collie in brush and ink. Project: Black/white dog or cat of your choice, in brush and ink technique.
  6. Caricature and Charcoal Wash – How to dilute charcoal with water to make a lovely, grainy texture. How to draw cute, informal caricatures of dogs and cats. Project: Create a collection of dog and cat caricatures in charcoal wash.
  7. Drawing White Fur – Learn five different techniques for drawing realistic white fur. Draw a fluffy white kitten. Step-by-step white sheepdog drawing. Project: Use the lesson techniques to draw the white dog or cat of your choice.
  8. Animals in Action – Understand physical characteristics of moving animals. How to draw realistic paws from many angles. How to use perspective to position animals in your drawings. Finding the dynamic line. Creating preliminary form drawings. Project: Drawing cats and dogs in motion.

Some photos from Draw Dogs and Cats:

Completed beagle sketch

L8 Part 2 kitten


Draw Owls: Designed for the Dark
4 Lessons – mini course – work at your own pace


Buy Now Button

Barred Owl

Develop fundamental drawing skills in pencil and charcoal as you sketch some of nature’s most efficient (and beautiful) predators. Each week will feature a new technique and a new species of owl. No experience necessary — this class is specially designed for beginning and intermediate artists.

Lessons are information-rich, each consisting of multiple videos and illustrated printable pages, and will be posted on a password-protected web page.  Instructor guidance and feedback is available as often as you like, through email.

Supplies for this course:

  • 4B drawing pencil, any brand
  • Soft kneaded eraser
  • Supply of inexpensive sketch paper for practice
  • Black charcoal pencil
  • White charcoal pencil
  • 2 sheets of toned charcoal paper (gray or buff)

Photos from Draw Owls: Designed for the Dark:

L3 Image



Draw Horses & Ponies
10 Lessons – work at your own pace

Buy Now Button


ink horseI grew up with horses and have always loved drawing them, so I’m very excited about this: Registration is now open for Draw Horses and Ponies. Use pencil, pen, ink and brush to draw horses of all breeds (from tiny Falabella miniatures to enormous draft horses) and life stages from birth to old age. Includes how to draw each gait, as well as jumping, shying and rolling. Draw horses under saddle and in harness. There is a lesson on drawing riders (both Western and English) and one on donkeys and mules. Explore realistic pencil renderings and playful, impressionistic brush drawing. No experience necessary!

The course includes 10 instructional videos, and 30 illustrated pdf pages for you to print and keep. I’ll provide one-on-one guidance and feedback at each step of the journey.








5 Video tutorials with illustrated printables

LIFETIME ACCESS $50Enrollment limited

Buy Now Button

Draw four of the most beautiful butterflies you’ve never heard of – each using a different technique, inspired by a woman naturalist from previous centuries. We’ll draw each butterfly with its host plant or nectar plant. An additional full-length video lesson, Butterfly Drawing Basics, will post on our class website July 1 with printable warmup exercises (and a mini project) in advance of the full course launch July 20.

All lessons are hosted on a password-protected website, and your access is permanent. Work at your own pace, and get instructor feedback anytime by email.

See the supply list for this course:

Our colored pencil projects will explore:

  • Intense tropicals on a black background
  • Formal but whimsical butterfly illustrations of the Colonial era
  • Elegantly lush drawings of butterflies and caterpillars in the Age of Exploration
  • Drawing a labeled butterfly specimen from a 17th Century noblewoman’s collection

See you soon!




Draw and Paint Fairies in Nature
10 Lessons – work at your own pace

Buy Now Button



I love drawing fairies. They allow me to combine all my favorite art subjects (children, botanicals, birds, insects, small furry animals) in various whimsical combinations to create a gentle world where you can fish from the top of a Great Blue Heron or hitch a ride on a passing opossum.

Learn about fairy proportion from infant to adolescent, how to show physical and facial expressions, how to draw assorted wings and attire, how to create a background, how to draw fairies in action (and in flight) or at rest. Draw and paint the fairies’ neighbors, birds and mice. Discover techniques for using color to create a rich natural atmosphere.

While this course is open to students at all levels of art experience, you will enjoy it much more if you already have a few basic drawing skills. If you are just starting out, I encourage you to sign up for one of my other drawing courses first … and then take Draw & Paint Fairies in Nature.

Some photos from Draw and Paint Fairies in Nature:





Fairies II: Draw & Paint the Enchanted World
10 Lessons – work at your own pace

Buy Now Button



This magical course continues where my Fairies I course left off: We will draw and paint enchanted landscapes, interiors, moonlight, candlelight — and the neighboring inhabitants of the fairy realm, including goblins and trolls, dragons and unicorns, tree spirits, moonlight and candlelight, the Woodwife and more.



L9 Face demo 5



Christmas Birds Mini-Course
3 Lessons (PLUS video on planning for print size)

Buy Now Button

Draw and paint three traditional Christmas birds, each paired with a holiday botanical, using three different art techniques. (And just in case you want to create your own greeting cards or postcards, I have included a video on how to plan for standard print sizes.)

Use layered colored pencil to design and draw a partridge in a pear tree; paint with gouache on tea-stained paper to make a cheery cardinal with holly and mistletoe; and explore the delightful vintage look of ink/gouache resist to create a medieval influenced dove and sweet olive (with an optional angel, as well)!


46 thoughts on “Online art courses: the full list”

  1. JoAnn Rice said:

    I am interested in the online classes. Can you provide me details please?

  2. Sue Hulen said:

    Please give information on your online classes. Thank you.

  3. Hi. Could you please send info on your dog class and watercolor lettering? I am interested in both.
    Thank you!

  4. Joretta Parker said:

    Love your site! You are very talented!

  5. I am one of vals students. You will enjoy her classes.. : )

  6. Val,
    I just saw the dog and kittens class!!! Yeah, dogs and kitties are my personal favorite. Will they be available after the fairies? I sure hope so.
    Thank you
    Lorrie Deann

  7. The Fairies class will be my 5th class with Val. I began with NO art experience other than photography. I was amazed to be able to follow her very detailed instructions which resulted in lovely results. Val’s critiques are very helpful and point up both the positive and less-than-positive features of each assignment. I found it beneficial to watch the video first, then work on the warm-up and finally the project … while watching the video again, stopping it as appropriate to complete the instruction and starting it for the next step. That way you are working right along with Val as if she were sitting next to you. Most helpful so that you don’t forget a step along the way as she uses many techniques to complete each project! Enjoy!!!! Carole Jurack

  8. Hi Val, I sent you an email yesterday regarding to the online class, would be great if you could reply me. Many thanks! Xenia

  9. when is next watercolor lettering class?

  10. When is the next session of Drawing Dogs & Cats?

    • Hi, Sharon! The next session of my online course, Drawing Dogs & Cats, will start on July 21. I have posted the details on my “Upcoming Online Courses” page. I hope you will join in the fun. 🙂

  11. Your classes are highly recommended. I am wondering if you do any classes on gardens, more emphases on flowers and gardens than the inhabitants, birds, fairies, etc. I am a beginner and the beautiful creatures are beyond my ability level.

    Thanks for reply and information

  12. This looks wonderful. Will you be offering classes after mid-April too?

  13. Kelly Cobb said:

    Hi Val, I have some art experience but have not taken the first fairies class… Should I go ahead and take the second class or wait for the first class in May? I just want to make sure I am getting the most out of the classes.

    • Hi Kelly! Thank you for asking about the Fairies II class. Because it is the continuation of the earlier class and refers frequently to techniques taught during those first 10 lessons, it is only offered for those who have already taken the first course. I’ll be offering the first one again in May — the new dates will be posted in a week or so.

  14. Is the Draw and Paint Fairies in Nature considered the first Fairies class? I only ask because I wanted to try Fairies II but needed to take Fairies I.

  15. Hello, just wondering if the watercolour lettering class will be coming up again ease? Thankyou! X

  16. kindredspirit said:

    I would like to take your watercolor lettering class but I did not get a response to my email…

    • Hi, Mary! Thanks for letting me know — the email was sent Dec. 3 and did not bounce back. Possibly in your spam filter? But I am so glad you are interested in the upcoming course, and I have just sent a copy of the email. See you soon!

  17. Pam Beason said:

    Hi Val –

    When will you offer your herb class next?

    Pam (previous student)

    • Hi Pam! I’m converting all my previous online courses to an “anytime” on demand format, so you can take it whenever you like and keep the video access for a full year. I will announce it as soon as I have finished the format change — probably in about 2 weeks. Thank you so much for asking!

  18. Thank you. Don’t know which one to begin with. Very excited you are offering these. Can’t wait to get started. hl

  19. Adrianne Bowes said:

    Hi Val
    I love all your courses! they are so well put together.
    quick question:
    are the non animal courses also going to be available once purchased for the full year?or do they have a limited access period?

  20. Ruth Olin said:

    Hi Val,

    Looking forward to the post card class. How about watercolor reflection on water. I would love to learn how to do that.

  21. Roxanne Scelp said:

    Will you be offering the Draw Paint Letter class again?

  22. Val, I just viewed you class on the sketchbook revival. Loved it! Thank you for sharing. I am trying to get back to the basics and incorporate more simplicity and exploring sketching and watercolors again. Thank you also for sharing so many free printables and I find that your class pricing is so reasonable. Thank you for sharing you talents with us!

  23. I write Children’s Books and want desperately to afford your courses. This month I joined Sketchbook Revival and was pleased to come across your link:) I pray to be able to illustrate my stories🦋. Your online classes may be the answer to that 🙏 prayer.

    • Thanks, Tina! I work very hard to keep the prices super low on my courses, so people can enjoy them without incurring a big expense. The supply lists are always as simple as possible, for the same reason. Best wishes for success with your children’s book. I hope you will be able to join me!

  24. O purchased a class and have not heard from you as to how to access it

  25. incredible artwork!
    love the birds!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s